Clear Space Theatre Company announces its presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s most romantic and luminous play, "A Little Night Music," winner of six Tony Awards. Lyrics and music are by Sondheim, and the book is written by Hugh Wheeler.
Based on Ingmar Bergman’s film, "Smiles of a Summer Night," and set in 1900 Sweden, the plot revolves around a middle-aged lawyer and his teenaged bride, whose marriage has not been consummated after nearly a year. Their marital problems are complicated by the lawyer’s teenaged son, a seminary student who is only one year older than his stepmother. Enter Desirée Armfeldt, a famous actress with whom the lawyer once had an affair.
Additional characters include Deisree’s current fling and his wife, as well as a quartet of singers who appear throughout the production serving as a Greek chorus to comment on the action. Rumors, love and lust are all on parade.
Doug Yetter, artistic director of the company and director for this show, said, “The entire score is a waltz - some multiple of 3/4, though a good deal of the score is straightforward waltz. The lyrics are incredibly witty, and the score produced Sondheim’s only pop hit, ‘Send in the Clowns.’”
Yetter continues his longtime association with this work, which began in 1974 when he played in the pit orchestra at the Denver Center for the national tour with a notable cast. Almost two decades later, he served as musical director for the 1991 production in Annapolis, Md.
Performers for this production include James Davis, Donna de Kuyper, Steve Givens, Jeff Haslow, Liane Hansen, Greg Jones, Lauren McLane, Susan McMullen, Carolyn Robinson, Lorraine Steinhoff, Marian Sunnergren, Ed Teti and Abby Toomey.
De Kuyper shared that she had happily sung “Send in the Clowns” for 30 years without knowing it was part of this show. “Now I feel Desirée in my bones…who wouldn't want to play a washed-up actress who wears lovely gowns, sings a fabulous song and sleeps with everyone else's husband?”
Jeff Haslow, portraying the lawyer, said, “This show was how I discovered Sondheim when I was younger, and it has always had a place in my heart. The show is so brilliantly written; the libretto and the score are both remarkable and perfectly meld together. My role is an acting and singing challenge.”
Performances take place at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and at 3 p.m. Sundays, March 29 through April 14, with a weekday matinee at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 4. Reservations are available through the box office, 302-227-2270 or at www.ClearSpaceTheatre.org under the heading Purchase Tickets. Group rates are available.